After what was technically a comeback win over SC Upstate, the #2 Cards entered their Global Sports Shootout finale against Akron looking to dominate for the entire game.
And while Louisville was up by over 20 points during the game, they barely were able to hold on in the closing seconds to win 82-76.
Akron had only lost one game so far this season and is coming off a licking of Youngstown State. They do feature the best defense the Cards have so far this season.
Louisville did not play as well as they hoped for most of their win against SC Upstate and were looking to fine-tune their game before their schedule gets decidedly harder.
The teams stayed close early in the game thanks to great shooting. Jordan Nwora was the only Louisville offense for nearly five minutes in the first quarter, scoring 12 straight points for the Cards as they started to pull away.
An 11-0 Louisville run increased their lead to 18 points in the closing minutes of the first half before the Zips hit a couple free throws to get the halftime score to 47-31 Louisville.
Jordan Nwora scored 15 points in the first half. Dwayne Sutton, doing a little bit of everything, scored seven points and grabbed seven rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
The Cards steadily increased the lead into the second half, getting it up to 22 before Akron went on a 18-6 run to whittle the deficit down to ten points. As the second half went on Louisville could not buy a bucket and eventually the deficit went down to four points in the final minute of the game. Akron could score almost at will inside but had to foul to keep the clock stopped. The Cards hit their free throws to keep the Zips at bay.
The Cards made 33.3 percent of their shots in the second half. They also turned the ball over nine times in the last 20 minutes, which Akron scored 14 points from.
Jordan Nwora led Louisville with 18 points on 6-19 shooting. Steven Enoch scored 17 points and Ryan McMahon scored 10.
Dwayne Sutton led all rebounders with 14 boards, also getting a double-double by scoring 10 points.
Louisville moves to 6-0 on the season (1-0 ACC). Akron falls to 4-2 on the year.
The Cards five-game home stand ends as they head down to Nashville to face Western Kentucky on November 29.<